[Marxism] Commentary: Chicago factory sit-in fits nation's mood

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 9 08:05:51 MST 2008

Lichtenstein and Phelps are right to highlight that the workers in
Chicago are inspired and feel encouraged by the election of Obama. 

The workers don't think that Barack Obama is a betrayer in any way.
News reports today say that the governor of Illinois has announced
that his state is suspending all business with the Bank of America
until it acts to help keep the jobs of these workers. The company,
by the way, has NOT declared bankruptcy, and undoubtedly we'll soon
enough learn more about the background to this situation.

The workers look to Obama hoping he will do something to help them
to save their jobs and the company for which they work, in some case
where they have worked for DECADES. Everyone who considers themselves
to be a socialist or a Marxist should feel encouraged by this group
of workers who are pointing out to the rest of the working class how
to highlight the impact of capitalism's crisis on the lives of the
rank-and-file workers. The publicity gain for all workers in this
country is palpable. It shows us how a single reasonable struggle
can find nation-wide support and publicity if it's framed in a way
to link up with the experiences of masses of workers everywhere.

What these workers in Chicago today are seeking can be understood
quite simply. They want a CHANGE from a situation where a private
corporation can simply come in and tell them to "drop dead" and to
go away quietly. The workers' demands themselves are modest enough
and completely reasonable: notice, back pay, payment for vacation
and other benefits which they have earned.

And it shouldn't come as any surprise to any with a memory, either,
that these workers have found a willing vehicle for their protest in
the United Electrical Workers Union, a union long known for its left
wing political positions and leadership. What a difference there is
between this UE effort and that of the UAW leadership whose program
is to surrender as much as possible other than their dues checkoff.

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California

Just as FDR once told reporters, "If I worked in a factory, the first 
thing I would do is join a union," so too has President-elect Barack 
Obama declared the Republic workers "absolutely right" in their quest 
for remuneration. More importantly, Obama observed that the Republic 
factory closure "is reflective of what's happening across this economy."

Indeed, it is not just that workers are suffering during a severe 
recession, but that the owners of capital, both large and small, are 
morally compromised in the crisis that besets the nation.
Commentary: Chicago factory sit-in fits nation's mood
Commentary: Chicago factory sit-in fits nation's mood
By Nelson Lichtenstein and Christopher Phelps
Special to CNN

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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